Tag Archives: projects

365 Day 19

Challenge: “abandoned”

One of the things that I love about my Dad is that he is the king of Dad Jokes and he when he delivers a joke that he thinks is funny, he gets the best smirk on his face and his eyes sparkle.

You know how girl’s traditionally are a attracted to a boy that reminds them of their Dad? My man tells very dry Dad Jokes and I love that he has this is common with my Dad.

When I told Tim that the challenge for today’s 365 was “Abandoned” he didn’t pause, his eyes sparkled, and he said, “Why don’t you take a photo of one of your projects” He finished this joke with a smile and the classic “ba dum chhh” drum roll on his desk.

So here it is. A photo of one of my many abandoned projects. I started this pillow case dress for Elise last spring. It has been hanging up on my office peg board waiting for a border hem for at least 10 months. It has become part of the office decor.

Staycation turned Project-cation

Project-cation just doesn’t have the same ring as Staycation. Tim would be the first to tell you it isn’t nearly as relaxing as Staycation either, but man did we get a lot done.

We left off with a trip to Minnehaha and an indulgent dinner out with Grandma and Grandpa Shannon. The next two days were packed full of projects and some major checking off of the to-do list. I was in project heaven and having Ruth by my side made the progress of the projects go that must faster.

Tim tackled the garage, while I was visiting my Mom on Wednesday morning.  When I came back he had already taken a load of wood to the compost people to be turned into mulch (Reuse-Recycle people!) and had everything else stacked into piles of “find a place for it”, donate to Habit ReStore, get Meg’s permission to throw away and a “I will throw no matter what Meg thinks” pile.

I was shocked at the progress he made considering I didn’t know he was going to tackle the garage. We decided that the best thing to do would be to split up, so Tim continued working on the garage, Ruth and I started staining the million and two spindles on the deck and Jim was in charge of dealing with the boys (if they had an issue) and Elise was napping.

We stopped long enough to go to Michael’s soccer game that night and boy did he love having the extra-large cheering section.

The next day Tim finished up the garage and then started repairing what needed to be repaired on the deck. We finished staining the deck that day too, just in time for Patrick’s soccer game. I think Jim had the most fun watching the soccer game. It may be frustrating to watch but seeing Patrick play soccer is mighty entertaining.

Elise loves going to the soccer games. Sometimes she sits nicely and watches, sometimes she goes and plays with other kids who got dragged along to the games and sometimes Tim does this with her to keep her content.

 To Ruth, Thank you for all your help. We couldn’t have gotten half of the projects we started and completed done with out your help!

More pics of the finished deck soon.

note: Elise’s birthday post is ready to go up. I just need to get some good recent photos of her so stay tuned. An Elise photo shoot is scheduled for this weekend.

De-Popcorning a Ceiling

I did it all by myself because I am crazy, stubborn and awesome. Tim wasn’t on board with this project. He is logical and didn’t see the purpose of taking down the popcorn when the only problem with it was that I didn’t like the way it looked.

Here are some truths about Tim and my marriage. Tim helps around the house (a lot) even though he works 60 plus hours a week outside of the home. Tim will help with whatever I ask him to help with because he is a hard worker and he loves me. I spent years honing my manipulation skills on my little sister. I could totally take advantage of Tim, but I love him and I won’t do that. Not that I don’t love you Beth but Tim and I share a bedroom. We never had to share a bedroom. It is never a good idea to piss off someone you share a room with, just ask my college roommates. The second reason I didn’t ask Tim for help on this one is that I know someday (in the very near future) there will be a project I want done and I will need his help. SO… this project I did all on my own. I did it to bank some Honey Do points that I plan on cashing in on… Oh I don’t know… maybe an entry way makeover?!

So this is how I did the de-popcorning.

I put Elise down for a nap. I covered the room in plastic.

Elise woke up from her nap.

Elise and I picked up Patrick from school and I sat them in front of the TV with a snack. I filled my squirt bottle with water and then proceeded to squirt, wait a few minutes and then scrape. I did this 2 square feet at a time for as long as I could get away with it.

*TIP* wear socks so when you leave the room you can take them off and not have to worry about tracking the muck all over the place.

It took a total of 2 naps and snack movie times to get it all scrapped. The “popcorn” came off pretty easy once it was wet. I held the scraper at an approx. 20 degree angle and just kept scrapping. It was messy, wet, pasty and I can’t believe that people put this stuff on ceilings. Gross.

After the ceiling dried completely (the drywall was never wet wet, just damp) I had to mud all the nicks and dings in the ceiling which happened during another nap/snack time.

The mudding dried for 24 hours and then I sanded during another nap. I wrapped a piece of high grit sandpaper around a 2×4 to make the processes easier. The scrapping was messy but nothing compared to the sanding. The sanding was horrible. I wore a mask and my glasses. Every 5 minutes I would have to take off my glasses and clean them because the film was so thick on my lenses that I couldn’t see. I kept the window open but it still was awful.

When the sanding was done I cleaned all the mess up, vacuumed for the 100th time during this project and then wiped the ceiling with a damp cloth. When Tim came home that night I put up a coat of primer. By then it was weekend and the next morning I was able to put up a coat of paint. Beth came down for the weekend to visit. She played with the kids while Tim and I prepped the room for staining.  By that evening Tim and I were staining the lofts.

Could this have gone faster with help? Absolutely.  It would have been way faster if I could have worked outside of the nap and snack window of time but it doesn’t matter. It is done now. I got a fantastic arm work out in the process and best of all,  I saved all my Honey Do points for another project.

Verdict? The room looks great. The boys loved that the “pricklies are gone!” Even Tim said it looked good.  Will I do every room in the house? I don’t know. I know I would tackle all the bedrooms DIY style but before tackling big areas like the open floor plan of the main floor I would price out what a pro would charge because sometimes paying a pro is worth the price tag just to keep your free time free (Tim taught me that).

more pics of the process here.



Sweat Equity

Who would have thought that the walls would have been the worst part of the boys’ room makeover project?!

As I finished up the sanding the spackle I looked around and the room was a disaster zone. Correction. Is a disaster zone. I ran out of time to clean up before it was time for the kids to go to bed. I am looking at the unclean room as I do when I have a pot of chilli that needs to be scrubbed but I have no will to get it done so I fill it with hot water and suds and “let it soak” for the night…. not sure if that applies to this situation but it is what it is.

You know how in the movies or on TV when the characters DIY they always have a bit of saw dust on their clothes and some dirt on their flannel shirt and then maybe a cute smudge of paint across their tiny perfect Hollywood nose? Yeah that is not what it is like in real life. As I shut the boys’ door behind me and headed into the master bathroom I took stock of my present “DIY Look” I was covered in a layer, not a fine layer, it was a can’t quite make out what color your shirt is layer of dust from head to toe. I was sneezing and coughing grey matter and when I looked into the mirror I was shocked to see that I had aged 60 years. My face was the color of ash and every line was visible. It was like someone had dusted my face for fingerprints and all the only clue they found was that I am on the fast track to 30.

DIY is messy business. It isn’t called sweat equity for nothing. It is hard work and it take a tremendous amount of dedication to your project or dare I say, vision, to make the choice to spend your free time sanding down previous owners short cuts instead of doing… whatever else normal people do.

I turned on the shower after deciding that no good would come of me taking a self portrait of my ashen aged self. As I waited for the water to warm up a blue bottle in our glass faced medicine cabinet caught my eye. It was my “good soap” that I received as a secret Santa present from a cousin I don’t see nearly often enough this past Christmas. I grabbed it and brought it in the shower with me. It is one of those good smelling special soaps that I always think that I should save for a special occasion like a hot date with my husband. If I only used this soap when I went on said hot date with my husband I wouldn’t be able to finish the bottle before it expired right around the time of our 15th wedding anniversary. You know what? I used that soap. I didn’t even give my Target knock off Dove body wash a second glance. I used my lavender smelling fancy soap to wash away all the dust, grime, wallpaper glue and even a few scraps of stuck on NASCAR wallpaper. I am sitting at my computer right now smelling better than I have in a very long time. Thank you Cousin Michael. You can now say that we named our first born after you!

Why do we DIY? We do it because I love it. I would like to think that Tim loves it too. Does it save us money? Sure it does but that isn’t even one of the top five reasons I love it. What are the top five reasons? Right now the top two reasons are that soap smells better after sanding and a beer never tastes as good after a day spent DIYing.